Hello Readers!! Lucas here, and It’s been too long. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with all of you again!
Winter festivities are in full swing here at Dancing Rabbit!
The snowfall a couple weeks back was more than I’ve ever seen in person, and I had a great time building an igloo with fellow rabbits! As far as I could tell, no one in the group had ever built one, but within a couple of hours we had the wall and a slightly-less-than-stable doorway to show for our efforts. Additionally, our location was perfect for watching those who decided to go sledding. It was unfortunate that the two were happening at the same time. As I said in my last column- I’m determined to do something dumb on a sled. I just hope there’s a camera handy when it happens. Wish me luck, and mayhaps winter will provide another opportunity this year!
I love the way holidays are customized here!! In celebration of Valentine’s Day, DR has Validation Day. Instead of focusing on mainstream romantic (and expensive) gestures between couples, we choose instead to recognize the value each individual, regardless of their current relationship status. Community members make cards for everyone, and we all take turns writing encouraging notes on them. Eventually they will be passed out, and each co receives appreciation for what they bring to the community. It is all inclusive, doesn’t require a ridiculously overpriced rock, dinner, car, movie, or clothes; It requires only a willingness to express and receive kindness and encouragement.
I’ve found that even after being here for months, I am still consistently impressed with the creativity displayed here at DR. During our weekly planning session (W.I.P. or Week In Preview), we witnessed an amazing display of courage and ingenuity as Mae sung her Dancing Rabbit adaptation of “What’s This?” from the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas in recognition of her birthday. As she sung, I looked around the room, and felt a deep sense of being in the presence of independent, pioneering spirits; and I felt honored to have the chance to take part in what is happening here- and to be counted among their numbers.
Although we may be smack in the middle of winter here at Dancing Rabbit, the coming spring warmth is already thawing our thoughts, provoking both the excitement of a season to come, and the introspection of seasons past.
This week we had our annual seed swap! As I begin planning the garden-my first ever- I find myself wondering which will grow more this year…myself or these seeds? I am also struck by the many fears we both, human and plant, regularly face:
We fear the chaos of change.
We fear that conditions will not be sufficient for our growth and propagation, that we may sprout forward only to find the world too harsh and unforgiving.
We fear that even if we do eventually bear fruit after all our striving, all our desperate effort, it might not even be good enough to be appreciated. There are so many things that can go so wrong. Murphy’s Law, right?
So it appears the seeds and I both have choices to make: Will we choose to shed our protective shells and stretch forth in vulnerability, or will we choose to remain protected, risking nothing, and gaining nothing in return? There’s a certain security in the “known” that the “unknown” cannot enjoy: familiarity. Is that a good enough excuse to rest on the few laurels I’ve managed to gather together? I find that when I ask that question of myself at 34, I answer me with an emphatic “NO”. Which means the fears that the seeds and I harbor must be faced before any significant growth can occur.
Examples such as Mae’s serve to encourage the rest of us to come out of our shells, reach forward into the unknown, and grasp the person that we want to be, slowly merging them with our present selves.
We both only get one shot at this life. Can we make it count? Or will we pass through our lives with no effect on the world around us? I’d say those here at DR are striving to leave this world in better shape than they found it.
At this stage in my life, I still believe the seeds offer a more predictable yield.
Indeed, the seeds have some growing to do.
“I wanna be
An old man
With a sun tan
And watering can
As happy as a heat wave
As honest as a window
Coming through the old gate
I can feel fate
And I hope it’s not too late”
-Turin Brakes “Other Side”